Press-Republican

Local News

December 18, 2013

Lewis looks to the future

LEWIS — About 30 Lewis residents listened in as town officials talked about the new Comprehensive Plan that is in the works.

The recent meeting at the fire hall was held to introduce the draft of the new plan.

As the presentation was about to begin, Don Huntley, representing the Lewis Volunteer Fire Department, took a minute to voice one of the concerns facing small-town emergency squads: the lack of young members.

“We’re losing volunteers,” he said. “We need to keep people here, people who will get involved. It’s hard to find volunteers with the time and interest.”

Lewis Supervisor David Blades welcomed the citizens to the forum and talked about the ongoing process to create the Comprehensive Plan.

“The core of the plan is complete and covers what Lewis is today, what residents want and what needs to be done,” he said. 

“This is a plan, not a law, though it may be the foundation for regulations.”

SMALL HAMLET

Land-use planner Brandy Saxton of Place Sense of Port Henry presented the findings of a resident survey, as well as the results of an investigation of the town’s attributes and perceived weaknesses. 

In 2010, Lewis received a 2010 Adirondack Smart Growth grant to prepare the Comprehensive Plan, after which a committee was formed and Place Sense hired.   

Lewis comprises 84 square miles, 17 percent of which is State Forest Preserve. The 2010 Census reported 1,382 residents. 

The town has one of the smallest designated hamlets within the Adirondack Park at 104 acres; not much property in it is left to develop.

STRENGTHS

According to the assessment, Lewis’s strengths and opportunities include:

▶ Direct access to the Adirondack Northway and being located in proximity to employment centers and major transportation routes.

▶ The opportunity to become a hub for regional facilities.

▶ Meadowmount School of Music.

▶ Its significant base of working land and resource industries.   

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